European food varies depending on where you go. Germany is known for its sausages, Italy is known for its pasta, and England is famous for its fish and chips.
From Spain to Russia and everywhere in between, flavors vary widely but one thing food from all of them have in common is how delicious it is.
Since most of us can’t hop on a plane every time we get a craving for European food, travel the world from your plate by trying any of these 17 traditional European recipes.
17 Traditional European Recipes
European food tends to be heavier in meats like pork, lamb, and beef, and flour and starches like bread, noodles, and potatoes. Take a trip through Europe with these 17 traditional European recipes.
1. Valencian Paella
Let’s start this journey in Spain with its national dish. This one-pot rice dish is gorgeous and makes a perfect dinner whether it’s a casual weeknight or romantic evening.
Traditional Valencian paella consists of rabbit, snails, and chicken but can be modified to fit your tastes. You can also make seafood paella with shrimp, mussels, and clams.
Gazpacho is a Spanish soup that originated in Andalucia, Spain. It consists of tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell peppers, cilantro, spices, and is served chilled.
Tomatoes are a huge part of this recipe so finding good tomatoes is key to a good final product. After your soup is blended and chilled, garnish with diced cucumber and fresh herbs.
Continuing our trek through Europe, we find ourselves in France. Cassoulet is a classic French casserole that is loaded with beans, pork, and chicken.
This recipe is simple but a little time-consuming but well worth the work and wait. This dish’s flavors develop over time and will be most flavorful around its third day.
4. French Onion Soup
Originating in France in the 18th century, this soup is made with caramelized onions, wine, beef broth, and topped with a slice of toasted bread and covered in melted cheese.
Dried herbs can be used in place of fresh, and croutons in lieu of toasted bread. This recipe is also easy to tweak to meet any dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
What better way to make sure you’re getting your recommended amount of vegetables than by making and enjoying a comforting, flavorful, and gorgeous pan of ratatouille.
It is loaded with layers of zucchini, yellow squash, potato, bell pepper, eggplant all arranged in a beautiful spiral design on a bed of tomato and béchamel sauce.
6. Fish and Chips
Stopping in England, no European food list would be complete without mentioning fish and chips. This recipe will make you feel like you’re eating at your favorite English pub.
The most commonly used filets for fish and chips are cod, Pollock, and haddock. Add some beer to your batter for a remarkably crunchy breading. Serve your fish with crispy, golden-brown fries.
Heading south to Italy, we will find some incredibly classic pasta dishes and it doesn’t get any more classic than spaghetti. Variations abound but the gist is the same.
Al dente spaghetti is topped with a long-simmered tomato herb sauce with hamburger. For more flavor, add grated parmesan cheese and serve with breadsticks.
Lasagna is a delicious casserole with layers of lasagna noodles, meat sauce, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta cheese mixture. This is a great meal to prep ahead.
Once assembled, your lasagna can be frozen to bake at a later time. Whether baking now or later, line your baking sheet with foil for easier clean-up.
9. Wiener Schnitzel
Onward to Austria, wiener schnitzel is a simple recipe that takes veal cutlets that are pounded into thin slices, breaded, and fried into a crunchy and flavorful meal.
Wiener schnitzel is not typically served with a side but instead is served with lemon wedges, and garnished with greens. If you prefer a side, try some roasted potatoes.
10. German Style Sausage and Peppers
After a brief stop in Austria, let’s go north to Germany for a super sausage recipe. These German-style sausage and peppers are perfect for dinner or parties.
You can use either Italian sausage or bratwurst for this recipe. The sausage topping is made from red and green bell peppers, onions, spicy brown mustard, and dark beer.
11. German Potato Salad
German potato salad makes a perfect side for anything you can throw on the grill. Since grilling season is upon us, this dish is sure to make an appearance soon.
Unlike American potato salad, German potato salad is made with unpeeled red potatoes, topped with a tangy sauce, and served warm. Did I mention it’s topped with crispy bacon?
12. Traditional Beef Rouladen
Rouladan is a traditional German recipe that uses thinly sliced round steak with bacon, mustard, onions, pickle, and parsley rolled inside then coated in flour and fried until browned.
Once fried, place in a casserole dish and add the drippings, water, mushrooms, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and bake for one and a half to two hours.
Let’s keep on trucking and head over to Poland. Pierogi is a traditional Polish dumpling that is filled with cheesy potatoes and tossed with bacon, butter, and sour cream.
Homemade pierogi dough can be filled with a savory or sweet filling. In addition to this cheesy potato filling, other ideas include a savory meat filling, or sweet blueberry or plum filling.
Golabki is a cabbage roll stuffed with a meat mixture in a tomato sauce. Golabki is easy to make, healthy, and great for any family dinner.
Combine al dente rice, ground turkey, onions, and seasoning to stuff the cabbage leaf. Prepare the tomato sauce, place the rolls in the sauce and bake for 1.5 hours.
Nearing the end of our trip across Europe, we have alas arrived in Russia. Borscht is an iconic hearty soup with beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, and potatoes.
Brilliantly red, borscht is served with a dollop of sour cream or Smetana and sprinkle with fresh dill or parsley for an undeniably stunning presentation.
Solyanka is a sweet and sour beef soup that is bursting with flavor. The soup gets sweet from the tomatoes and carrots and sour from pickles, olive, and marinated mushrooms.
Loaded with meat and vegetables, this stew is made with beef, smoked sausage, bacon, carrots, crushed tomatoes, potatoes, pickles, onions, and mushrooms. Perfect for a cold-weather evening.
Whew! What a whirlwind trip across Europe we just finished and the best part is you’re not even jet-lagged. Which stop was your favorite?
From Spain to Russia we’ve enjoyed some incredibly delicious meals along the way. Go back to Europe any time with these 17 traditional European recipes.